The Effect of 2 Different Exercise Programs on Pain Intensity and Muscle Dimensions in Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Narjess Nabavi, Mohammad A. Mohseni Bandpei, Zahra Mosallanezhad, Mahdi Rahgozar, Shapour Jaberzadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of 2 exercise programs combined with electrotherapy on pain intensity and lumbar stabilizer muscles dimensions in patients with nonspecific chronic low back pain. Methods: A randomized controlled clinical trial was performed with 41 patients with chronic LBP. Participants were randomly allocated into 2 groups: an experimental group (n = 20) received stabilization exercises plus electrotherapy, and a control group (n = 21) received routine exercises plus electrotherapy. Pain intensity, using a visual analog scale, and muscle dimensions of both right and left transverse abdominis and lumbar multifidus muscles, using rehabilitative ultrasonography, were assessed before and immediately after 4 weeks of intervention. Results: Significant improvement was identified after interventions on pain intensity and muscle size measurements in both groups (P < .01 in all instances). The only exception was the right-side lumbar multifidus cross-sectional area of the control group, which was not statistically significant (P = .081). No significant differences were found between the 2 exercise groups on pain intensity and muscle dimensions (P > .05 in all instances). Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that a combination of electrotherapy with either routine or stabilization exercise programs may improve pain intensity and muscle dimensions in patients with nonspecific chronic low back pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-110
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Exercise
  • Low Back Pain
  • Muscle
  • Pain Intensity
  • Stabilization
  • Thickness
  • Ultrasonography

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